Thursday, February 12, 2015

KC (14) Doing Good in the World

In Kingdom Conspiracy, Scot McKnight extracts some good stuff about Doing Good from Peter’s first letter.

Peter uses words that by and large are missed by most today. I will quote the verses and italicize the words that reveal what he means by “good deeds.”
. . . or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. (1 Pet. 2: 14)

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (2: 15)

But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. (2: 20)

. . . like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (3: 6)
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (3: 17)

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (4: 19)
The word Peter is using is built on two words, “good” and “doing” (agathopoieo, agathapoios, agathapoiia), and it describes those who are marked by pleasing, good, and noble moral behaviors— kindness, generosity, compassion, obedience, and civic virtues. But there’s more: this term was often used to describe Roman and Greek citizens who acted benevolently in the public sector for the common good.
The final observation from 1 Peter 2: 11– 12 is that good deeds solicit, inherently and unavoidably, the praise of the powers of this world because good deeds are unimpeachable. Peter says they will see your “good deeds” and “glorify God,” and in this Peter sounds like Jesus, who said much the same about being salt and light (Matt. 5: 13– 16). These deeds aren’t done in order to solicit their praise; they are done out of obedience and love, and their inherent goodness is inherently praiseworthy.
Scot claims that doing good in the world is important, but this is not kingdom work.
Peter does not come close to describing benevolence as a kingdom work. Peter saw kingdom as the realm of redemption and the redeemed, not what followers of Jesus did in the public sector.

No comments: